The Laser Materials Processing Lab (LMPL) at the University of Iowa pursues research on the advancement of material processing technology and sciences. There are currently three main research thrusts:

  • development of laser engineering methods for new functional materials;
  • development of novel manufacturing processes (via lasers, ultrasonics, friction stir processes); 
  • modeling and simulations of material processes, microstructures and functional properties. 

The lab is directed by Prof. Hongtao Ding


Group News:
  • Haoxuan You and Zach Lowery wins the 1st place Popular Choice Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
  • Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
  • Congratulations to Avik Samanta for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. He is a doctoral candidate and has served as a teaching assistant for several courses. He is very dedicated, enthusiastic and enjoys working with the students.
  • We recently published a paper in Optics and Lasers in Engineering for our research in Laser Keyhole Cutting of CFRP. For the first time, a keyhole mode cutting is achieved for CFRP materials using a long-pulse nanosecond laser. A high-quality machined surface can be produced with a limited heat-affected zone and little fiber pull-out. The paper can be read from here.
  • Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the the Ballard Seashore Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!
  • Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the 2019 Student Innovator Award from the University of Iowa. Congratulations!
  • Avik Samanta received the Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!
  • Our recent research is published in Scientific Reports on laser fabrication of new terahertz bandpass ultrathin metamaterials
  • Our research is featured in the 2018 ME Newsletter
  • Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang and Avik Samanta successfully passed their respective comprehensive exam in Fall 2018. Congratulations!
  • Prof. Ding Receives NSF Grant to Study a Fast Laser-based Surface Nanostructuring Method. 
  • Avik Samanta wins the Rajyalakshmi & Shankar N Planjery Award in Spring 2018. Congratulations!

  • Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2018 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!

  • MForesight article about our laser-based composites processing research
  • Ninggang ‘George’ Shen successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Fall 2017. Congratulations! 

The title is “Microstructure Prediction of Severe Plastic Deformation Manufacturing Processes for Metals”.

George took a research internship position at GM R&D during his last semester (Fall 2017) with a NSF support.

George joined Tesla as a manufacturing engineer.

  • Timothy Heiderscheit successfully defended his master’s thesis in Fall 2017. Congratulations!

The thesis title is “Comparative Study of Near-Infrared Pulsed Laser Machining of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics”. 

Tim joined Quest Thermal Group as a Mechanical Engineer.



At the University of Iowa, we have an immediate Research Assistantship (RA) opening for a project on wind turbine manufacturing, machining and surface treatment. We are looking for highly motivated students with background in one or more of the following areas: Solid mechanics, materials & mechanical behaviors, computer modeling (FEM, dislocation dynamics, MD, or phase field simulation), materials processing (e.g., machining), wind energy, and laser based manufacturing. PhD students in their first year or MS students who intend to continue PhD are preferred. Interested applicants are welcomed to contact Dr. Ding with a resume and a letter summarizing their research experience and research accomplishments.